German WW2 Panzer Assault Badge . This item is SonnderKlasse `Special Quality` See below.
Panzer Assault Badge `SonnderKlasse`. Historical Information
The panzerkampfabzeichen was first introduced after the invasion of Poland 1st sept 1939. It was one the first of a series of war badges awarded for achievements during combat
The silver grade was the first issued 20th December 1939 following by the bronze . Both of these grades are equal , the difference being the based solely on the branch of service. The design follows on from previous version from the first world war and also the Spanish cival war. It was available for Officers, NCO`s and enlisted men. The Bronze grade was awarded for motorized/ reconnaissance units and holds exactly the same status.
The original design was by C. E. Junker of Berlin. It is comprised of an oval design and an oak leaves on each side and a stylized bow at the bottom. To the top is the German national eagle holding a swastika in its claws. To the centre is a stylized Panzer with features of the Mark 3 and 4.. The reverse hardware consists of a vertical pin system. the hinge is soldered, riveted or crimped into place. A variety of combinations were used. The same applies to the catch top hold the pin. Early examples were often die stamped in silver but soon replaced by massive stamped zinc based badges. As usual the later examples were cast from kriegsmetal. badges were made of silver-plate and the later ones were made of zinc.
The “bronze” version was actually made of a “metal alloy”. Many badges were unmarked and named badges should not be taken as original. Many companies were employed in the manufacture of these badges.
The silver grade award regulations are as follows
- Participated in three assaults
- On three different days
- Engaged in recovery of vehicles or personnel
Sonnderklasse `special quality`
Panzer Assault Badge `SonnderKlasse`. ALL sonnderklasse items are made in Europe. Most are from a single manufacturer based in western Europe with a smaller amount made in eastern Europe. Many of these badges are made using the original moulds (or remakes of them) and tools which were bought from the factories when they closed, mostly in the 1960`s and 70`s. Even some of the original flaws have being preserved to gain the highest level of authenticity. The old metals like nickel and , Zinc and kriegsmetal are not really possible to recreate so metals of similar properties and weights are used. Pins and catches. All Sonnderklasse items have very strong pins and catches, like the originals they are very hard to break.